The Government of Western Australia’s Respect in Mining program now offers a set of new tools aimed at assisting Western Australian mining companies in establishing safer workplaces for women.
The program was created to assist small and medium-sized mining companies in increasing awareness and knowledge of the gendered factors that contribute to violence, the effects of gender inequality on women’s safety and financial security, as well as the effects of gender differences in leadership and decision-making.
Mining companies will be given instructions on how to establish clear standards and processes for expected behaviour as well as how to recognise and effectively handle workplace incidences of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Developed by Curtin University’s Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health, the Respect in Mining toolkit will be available sector-wide.
The program provides organisations with 19 tools and resources which can be adapted to their workplace, including:
- guidance on how to gain leadership support and commitment;
- a template to develop a sexual harassment and sexual assault policy;
- assessment and audit tools to identify the culture or risk of sexual harassment and sexual assault;
- guidance on dealing with backlash and resistance, and;
- procedures and guidance on how to review and improve practice.
Women’s Interests Minister Sue Ellery said: “Everyone has a right to feel safe and supported at work. Workplace sexual harassment is not a women’s issue; it’s a societal issue that all organisations, employers and individuals have a responsibility to address. We need to encourage more women to join the resources sector by treating them with respect, ensuring their safety and providing support.
“The toolkit and the Respect in Mining program is one of many initiatives being undertaken by the WA Government that highlights our commitment to ensuring the Western Australian resources sector offers a friendly, accommodating and empowering workplace for women,” said Ellery.
An implementation guide gives directions on how to put the tools and resources into practice and monitor the overall shift in workplace culture.
The launch of the toolkit complements the start of National Safe Work Month this October.
As announced in August, Gold Fields Australia will participate in a 12-month pilot of the Respect in Mining program across its WA operations, scheduled to begin in early 2024.
The Respect in Mining program is based on the principles of the Department of Communities’ Respectful Relationships programs and is an initiative of the Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety program.
It forms part of a comprehensive strategy to stamp out unacceptable behaviour in the mining and resources sector, alongside the SPEAK UP, REPORT IT campaign and WorkSafe WA’s 24/7 hotline 1800 678 198, launched in August.
More information about the Respect in Mining program and the tools and resources available can be found on the Department of Communities’ Respect in Mining webpage.